Where Does Save-A-Lot Food Come From? Answers for Meat, Dairy, etc

Short Answer: While Save-A-Lot’s corporate customer service department was unable to provide information on where its food products come from, we found that the grocery store chain sells a mix of private-label and national food brands and features locally and internationally grown produce and meats. For more information on where Save-A-Lot’s food comes from, see below.

Where Does Save-A-Lot Food Come From?

We reached out to Save-A-Lot’s corporate customer service department to ask about the store’s suppliers and delivery schedule and were told that the information could not easily be obtained. The company sells a variety of national, store-brand, and private-label food products. Representatives did, however, explain that Save-A-Lot’s discounted prices come from its operational practices, not its suppliers.

Save-A-Lot operates small stores with limited departments, and the company spends little time and money on its displays.[1] It also asks customers to bring their own reusable bags or pay a small bag fee. Additionally, the majority of the products sold at Save-A-Lot are store brand and private label, which means they are less expensive to produce — and less expensive for the customer.

To find out where Save-A-Lot food comes from, we investigated products and brands commonly found at Save-A-Lot by contacting several stores, combing through the retailer’s weekly ads, and visiting a Save-A-Lot store in Michigan. We’ve detailed our findings below by category.

Dairy

The Save-A-Lot location we visited does not carry any national dairy brands aside from Lactaid. Save-A-Lot’s private-label dairy brand is Coburn Farms. Coburn Farms produces milk, cheese, and yogurt and sources its products from several farm suppliers across the U.S.[2]

Meat and Poultry

Most Save-A-Lot stores (including all of the stores we contacted) employ meat cutters who hand-select and cut meat in stores seven days a week. Some stores, including one in Kewanee, IL, also make their own sausage.

During our store visit, we found that Save-A-Lot’s meat comes from a variety of places. The beef for sale originated in Canada, Mexico, or the U.S.; the pork was listed as a product of Canada, and the packaged chicken and turkey products from brands like Tyson and Jennie-O come from farms and processing plants based in the U.S.

All of the meat Save-A-Lot sells is USDA-inspected, including USDA Choice beef,[3] natural pork, and U.S. Grade A poultry.[4]

Packaged Goods

Save-A-Lot sells national and private-label brands of packaged foods. National brands that Save-A-Lot carries include Banquet, The Coca-Cola Company, Dole, General Mills, Pillsbury, and Totino’s.

We were told that store-brand products typically come from the same manufacturers as major brands but are cheaper due to their lower marketing and packaging costs. Save-A-Lot’s store brands include Ferratto’s frozen pizzas, Ginger Evans baking products, Grissom’s Mill baked goods, J. Higgs snack foods, Mantia’s pasta and sauce, Nature Trails snack foods, Portmann’s salad dressing, and Wylwood canned vegetables.[5]

Produce

Save-A-Lot’s produce is shipped directly from farms to stores.[1] As many Save-A-Lot stores are individually licensed, the stores we contacted said they source local, in-season fruits and vegetables whenever possible. During our store visit, we saw labels describing apples from Washington, bananas from Guatemala, cucumbers from Mexico, green beans from Ohio, and oranges from California.

Seafood

Save-A-Lot’s private-label seafood brand is Port Side, which offers canned, frozen, and battered varieties of fish. The Save-A-Lot store we visited did not have any frozen fish in stock, and customer service representatives were unable to confirm the country of origin for Port Side’s frozen products. However, we did find that Port Side’s canned tuna is a product of Fiji.[6]

If you have a question about where a particular Save-A-Lot product comes from, you can contact Save-A-Lot with the UPC or lot code for detailed product information.